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Sickle

Original
 
Found: Holset, Gemeente Vaals, Limburg
Age: 1300 BC

This sickle is found together with a second sickle and a spearhead in a burial mound, called "the sickle grave".

De mould
 
Material: clay & sand

I based the mould on sandstone examples found in Germany. I used clay/sand as mould material, as naturally occuring sandstone is very rare here. I also used a different type of sickle as from the sandstone moulds. The mould was baken before casting, in a relatively low temperature fire. 

Casting result
 
After casting I heard a lot of bubbling, so I was expecting a failure. Much to my surprise I got a near perfect sickle! Most likely the airvents have been the rescue, from which the air could escape quickly. After the first cast the mould was still usable. But the next casting attempts were unsuccesful, caused by for example blockage in the funnel by charcoal.

Finishing
 
The sickle is partially finished here. The feed, airvent fillings, and flash have been removed. The cutting edge has been hardened, and is ready for sharpening. Then all rests is some polishing and hafting. Judging from the color, the tin content is on the low side, so the sickle will need more frequent resharpening during use.

Ready for use
 
For the haft, I used ash. The shape and size is based on the Shinewater sickle. Because the wood was dry, it was difficult to shape and I couldn't get a smooth finish. The sickle is attached using a string of leather. In the wood I made two holes for the knobs on the sickle, which prevent the sickle from sliding during use. Now I have to wait until the next harvest, so I can try it out!

Modification
 
The leather wrapped didn't stay tight enough, so I've replaced it with intestine. This shrinks when drying and becomes very stiff. This gives a much more rigid attachment.